Ah, consumers and their perceived demand for instant newness. Topshop Unique, the fast-fashion retailer's higher-priced runway collection, is the latest brand to go (partially) see now, buy now. It will offer select pieces from what it's calling a "September 2016 collection" for sale immediately after the presentation during London Fashion Week on Sept. 18 — both at the show venue, Old Spitalfields market, at select Topshop stores around the world, and online. The rest of the collection will hit stores and the site on Nov. 11.
"The starting point for the Unique collection is always the celebration of British style and its rich heritage, so we feel Spitalfields provides the perfect backdrop to showcase our new collection," says Creative Director Kate Phelan in a statement. "With a history steeped in over 350 years of selling to the general public, we also feel it's a fitting venue in which to debut our 'Runway-to-Retail' concept."
Topshop joins the ranks of an increasing number of brands who have expedited the time between runway show and retail floor either completely (such as Kate Spade, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford) or through special capsules (such as Prada, Courrèges, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Creatures of the Wind, Versus, Banana Republic and more).
As a fast-fashion brand that primarily sells directly to its consumers, Topshop and its Unique line are in an interesting position. Most of its shoppers, already accustomed to constantly rotating fresh product, aren't looking to spend £55 to £1,000 (about $70 to $1,300) on the retailer's most elaborate collection. But as the prestige value of a long-lead runway show has dramatically waned over the last year, it's actually surprising Topshop didn't start this process sooner.